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Green pleads guilty to first-degree murder and child abuse

Local - 10/1/2013 4:31 PM
UPDATE:

BECKLEY - A Raleigh County man charged with first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury pleaded guilty to both charges Tuesday.

James Travis Green, 24, appeared in front of Judge Hutchison for his plea hearing. Green was arrested following an incident on February 8, where authorities found him passed out from an apparent drug overdose and his wife Brady Smallwood's two-year-old son Zeke unresponsive. Zeke's twin, Graydon, was found dead.

Prosecuting Attorney Kristen Keller said the plea agreement is important in this case because it allows for the near certainty of a life sentence. "No matter how strong the evidence looks to police and prosecutors, we always have to worry that there could be just one juror who wasn't convinced and then - even when we get a conviction - we always have to worry about what the state Supreme Court will think about the court's rulings," she explained.

Keller said evidence shows on February 8, Green and Smallwood were high all day, got married and then went home. Smallwood later allegedly left to pay a drug dealer, which is when the beatings occurred.

Graydon was beaten to death, shaken, punched and tossed, according to Medical Examiner's Office. Zeke had bleeding cuts to his head, multiple bruises on his body and what appeared to be cigarette burns on his arm and the top of his hand.

Green remains in Southern Regional Jail without bail. He faces a life sentence with mercy at his sentencing scheduled for January 14. With this sentence, he would be eligible for parole after serving 15 years in jail.

Smallwood will be going to trial. She is charged with child neglect resulting in death.

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ORIGINAL: 10/1/13, 12:05 p.m.

BECKLEY - A Raleigh County man charged with first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury pleaded guilty to both charges Tuesday.

James Travis Green, 24, was arrested following an incident on February 8, where authorities found him passed out from an apparent drug overdose and one of his girlfriend's two-year-old son's unresponsive. The other child was killed.

Green remains in Southern Regional Jail without bail. He faces a life sentence with mercy at his sentencing scheduled for January.

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